Bobby Dean lies in a hospital bed in Rochester, N.Y., after being admitted with severe dehydration, abdominal pain and a racing heart. He tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital and the doctors diagnosed him with a pediatric inflammatory syndrome.
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Bobby Dean lies in a hospital bed in Rochester, N.Y., after being admitted with severe dehydration, abdominal pain and a racing heart. He tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital and the doctors diagnosed him with a pediatric inflammatory syndrome.

Some doctors believe a new health condition appearing in children is related to COVID-19, but the connection is not yet fully understood.

The condition — known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C — has appeared in the United Kingdom, New York, Michigan and Washington.The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about rare symptoms that are appearing in children with coronavirus. GPB’s Ellen Eldridge reports on possible cases in Georgia.

Its symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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In New York, where the mystery illness was first described late last month, more than 100 children have now been hospitalized.

Bobby Dean, 9, of Rochester, New York, was admitted to a local hospital with severe dehydration, abdominal pain and a racing heart. He tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital and doctors diagnosed him with a pediatric inflammatory syndrome related to the virus. After six days in the hospital, he was able to go home on Mother's Day.

As of May 12, 2020, the New York State Department of Health identified 102 patients (including patients from New York City) with similar presentations, many of whom tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

MIS-C is like other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Children with MIS-C can have problems with their heart and other organs and need to receive medical care in a hospital.

Here in Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta reports a small number of cases over the last several months that are consistent with the CDC definition of this inflammatory syndrome.

Children’s doctors emphasize that this syndrome appears to be a rare occurrence.

"Physicians are working to determine if children with MIS-C — here and at other centers — may have had a previous COVID-19 infection," CHOA said in a statement.

The hospital is working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to monitor cases closely. Local doctors emphasize this syndrome is rare, and only 1% of the state’s COVID-19 patients are under age 12.

If a child develops any concerning symptoms, an unexplained or persistent fever, rash, red eyes, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, or swelling of the face, hands or feet, families should contact their pediatrician or seek medical care if their child’s pediatrician is not available.